A private plane crash in Zimbabwe on September 29th claimed the lives of prominent Indian billionaire Harpal Randhawa and his 22-year-old son Amer, along with 4 other passengers. The Cessna 206 aircraft crashed near the Murowa Diamonds mine in southwestern Zimbabwe, where it was headed from Harare. Engine failure is suspected to be the cause behind the tragic accident.
About Harpal Randhawa
Harpal Randhawa, 60, was a mining magnate based in Zimbabwe. He owned RioZim, a diversified mining company that produces gold, coal, nickel and copper in the country.
Randhawa also founded the private equity firm GEM Holdings, which is currently valued at $4 billion. According to his friends, Randhawa was in the process of planning a new business venture in India.
The Indian billionaire was regarded as a humble and generous figure in Zimbabwe’s business circles. His investments and operations contributed significantly to the country’s mining sector.
Aamer Randhawa Was a Trained Pilot
Harpal Randhawa’s son Amer was a trained pilot, although he was traveling as a passenger on the doomed flight. Friends and family have lost two precious lives in the accident.
About the Plane Crash
The Cessna 206 aircraft was privately owned by RioZim. It took off from Harare at 6 AM on September 29th headed for the Murowa diamond mine.
Around 7:30-8 AM, when the plane was about 6 km away from the destination, it crashed due to suspected engine failure. All 6 passengers, including the Randhawas, were killed in the accident.
The police and local community are working together to manage the crash site. Harpal and Aamer Randhawa’s memorial service will take place on October 4th, 2023 in Harare.
I am deeply saddened with the passing of Harpal Randhawa, the owner of Rio Zim who died today in a plane crash in Zvishavane.
5 other people including his son who was also a pilot, but a passenger on this flight also died in the crash.
I first met Harpal in 2017 through a… pic.twitter.com/A0AGOaR3sw
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) September 29, 2023
Reactions to the Tragic Incident
Friends, business partners and Zimbabwe’s leaders have expressed condolences after the plane crash. Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who was friends with Harpal Randhawa, wrote on social media: “I am deeply saddened with the passing of Harpal Randhawa…He was very generous with life advice, and very humble.”
The family of Harpal Randhawa who died with his son Amer on Friday in a plane crash, respectfully invite all his friends and associates to celebrate his life and that of his son Amer at a memorial service at Raintree on Wednesday the 4th of October, 2023.
Arrival time is 3PM.… pic.twitter.com/cWF0kPhe7G
— Hopewell Chin’ono (@daddyhope) October 1, 2023
Many highlighted Randhawa’s contributions to Zimbabwe’s economy through his mining operations and investments. His death along with son Aamer has left the business and mining communities in shock and grief.
The Randhawa family has suffered an immense personal tragedy. Harpal’s wife and Aamer’s mother are bereaved by the deaths of their loved ones.
About the Cessna 206
The Cessna 206 is a popular single-engine aircraft used for commercial air service and personal flights. It can carry up to 6 passengers.
The aircraft was first manufactured in 1964 and production continued till 1986. It was re-introduced in 1998 and around 10,000 units have been built to date.
The Cessna 206 is known for its reliability and ability to take off and land on short runways. Engine failure on the aircraft is rare, making the Zimbabwe crash unusual.
Aviation experts will thoroughly investigate the technical causes behind the accident that led to 6 fatalities including the prominent Randhawas.